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What Kinds of Fires to Build When

Fires are fun. They look cool and keep warm. How you should build that fire depends on your needs. Here are 5 kinds of fires you can build and what they’re good for.

The Teepee
A classic, seen mostly in cartoon depictions of fire. Its a stacking of wood in a cone shape resembling that of the tent style. The wide base allows airflow, so the fire burns hot and fast. It’s easy to keep going as well, just add more woods to the sides. This fire is best for quick heat for short periods of time, like cooking.

Log Cabin
Easy and long lasting, this Lincoln Log style stack is perfect for sustainability. This structure allows for easy stacking that’s close together while still allowing airflow, good for slow burning fires.

Platform
This is essentially the log cabin for cooking. Stack them the same way, but closer together, like Jenga blocks. Light the fire at the top instead of the bottom, this will create a platform of coals for you to place your pots and pans on. Be sure to stack it at least 3 tall.

Star
This fire is great for if there is a limited wood supply. This method doesn’t burn entire logs like the others but burns them down over time. Start with a small teepee fire. At 5 points around the fire, stick the ends of logs into the fire facing out so that only the tip of the log is in the embers. Move the log farther down as it burns. This will greatly extend the burn life of your wood and works with any length of log.

Lean-To
Wind sucks when it comes to fires. This fire is made to use its own wood as a wind shield. placing large logs on one side of the firepit, place the tinder on the side opposite the wind alongside some smaller sticks. This will let the tinder catch the small sticks, as well as the log, without interruption from the breeze. Slowly add to it will small wood, adding another log when ready.

Be sure to follow all safety regulations, as well as any fire laws set by your state and campgrounds.

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